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March 2, 2007

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s tennis team picked up a 7-0 win over Mississippi State on Friday at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks improved to 7-2 on the year and 1-0 in the SEC, and the Bulldogs dropped to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in the league.

Mississippi State was in a hole from the start, as it did not have enough healthy players to field a complete lineup. With No. 3 doubles going to South Carolina by default, Laura Ganzer and Vanessa Pinto gave the Gamecocks the point by downing Tatiana Feit and Renee Joseph 8-2 on court 2. Gira Schofield and Ana Marija Zubori of USC ousted Elna de Villiers and DeAndra Saddler 8-4 at the top position.

Already up 2-0 with MSU’s default at No. 6 singles, Zubori extended her streak of sets won to 18 with a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Joseph on court 3. Zubori improved to 20-3 on the year but did see her impressive streak of consecutive games won stopped at 38 after she dropped the opening game. She went on to win the next 11 before dropping game 6 of the second set. Still, Zubori has won 85 games and lost just 21 in dual matches this year and claimed 50 of her last 52.

Less than five minutes later, Pinto wrapped up her match at No. 2 singles by defeating de Villiers 6-1, 6-1 to improve to 3-0 as a Gamecock and secure USC’s 18th straight win over the Bulldogs. Soon afterward, Natasa Vuckovic gave South Carolina its fifth point with a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Saddler.

Christyn Lucas provided the next victory for South Carolina by upending Saddler 6-1, 6-2 playing at the fifth slot to move to 7-1 in dual contests. Schofield ended the day with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph versus Martina Banikova at No. 1 singles, where she is 6-2.

“Today was a good start to the SEC season,” Gamecock head coach Arlo Elkins said. “I felt bad for Mississippi State only have five players. As coaches, we’ve all been in that situation before. But, it was still a good win and the start we needed for SEC play.”

South Carolina will next host Mississippi at noon Sunday.

#38 South Carolina (7-2) def. Mississippi State (4-4), 7-0

1. Gira Schofield, USC, def. Martina Banikova, MSU, 6-3, 6-2
2. Vanessa Pinto, USC, def. Elna de Villiers, MSU, 6-1, 6-1
3. Ana Marija Zubori, USC, def. Renee Joseph, MSU, 6-1, 6-1
4. Natasa Vuckovic, USC, def. DeAndra Saddler, MSU, 6-1, 6-2
5. Christyn Lucas, USC, def. Tatiana Feit, MSU, 6-1, 6-2
6. Megan McGavock, USC, wins by default

Order of finish: 3, 2, 4, 5, 1

1. #41 Schofield/Zubori, USC, def. de Villiers/Saddler, MSU, 8-4
2. Laura Ganzer/Pinto, USC, def. Feit/Joseph, MSU, 8-2
3. Lucas/McGavock, USC, win by default

Order of finish: 2, 1